The hunt for vulnerable plaque has been the holy grail of cardiology for years. The theory driving this mission seems nice and tight. If a cardiologist can detect vulnerable plaque, he or she can undertake some action to treat it and prevent a future myocardial infarction. However, the mission remains a work-in-progress, and the end goals may be off the mark.
The first issue is a good news/bad news fact that relates to detection of vulnerable plaque. The good news is there are multiple imaging modalities with some utility at detecting vulnerable plaque. The bad news? None of them are ideal.
The other challenge relates to the goal. Can one really prevent a future myocardial infarction by detecting vulnerable plaque? Read more.